Second public hearing in North Cowichan for motorsport circuit zoning bylaw

Second public hearing in North Cowichan for motorsport circuit zoning bylaw
Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit in North Cowichan.

A contentious rezoning bylaw in North Cowichan will be up for discussion again.

After defeating a motion in October to allow the expansion of the Vancouver Island Motorsport facility, the municipality Wednesday says it will hold a second public hearing on the amendment bylaw.

“Since Council defeated the rezoning application on October 4, new information has been received that is relevant to the application,” a statement said in a North Cowichan release.

The rezoning would have allowed the Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit (VIMC) to add a new five-kilometre paved track, a circuit for off-road vehicles and several buildings to its existing facilities.

But after nine hours of public comment, which required a second night of debate, North Cowichan council voted it down.

The VIMC plans had the support of local chambers of commerce because of the economic benefits the facility has brought to the region, but it has also faced noise complaints from neighbours since it opened in 2016.

But on Wednesday, Mayor Al Seibring says he felt the ramifications of Council’s decision could have lasting implications for residents.

“When we went into the first round of public hearings last month, the public was providing their input based on the information that North Cowichan was at liberty to provide [at the time],” Siebring said in a statement.

“We heard nothing from people whose property taxes might be very seriously, negatively impacted by [VIMC’s] potential lawsuit.”

Siebring added residents should “know all of the facts surrounding an issue when we ask them to comment on that issue.”

Council voted in favour of a second public hearing to be held at the Cowichan Valley Performing Arts Centre.

A date has not been set.


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